CAT 2019 Preparation Strategy: Being one of the most coveted entrance exams, CAT is a tough nut to crack, although, with the right study schedule and guidance one can easily achieve success. Rohan Marda cracked CAT with 99.43 percentile to secure admission to all New IIMs and many other top B-schools. He finally opted for IIM Rohtak for pursuing his PGP. Rohan is a B.Tech in Electronics and Electrical Communication from Punjab Engineering College (PEC), Chandigarh. He got placed by Schneider Electric but chose to take CAT which took him to IIM Rohtak.

CAT 2019 Preparation Strategy

“If you are giving an aptitude exam for the first time, Online CAT Coaching supports you a lot. For the QA section, my strategy was to put in more time in practice. I believe this helped me get a good score. For VA, I believe, the focus is very important. I focused on selected questions especially Reading comprehensions and Sentence correction” says Rohan. Find out your strengths and weaknesses and focus on your strengths first, then shift to your weaker sections and practice as much as you can. But it is also important that you do a mock test while following a time strategy.  

Section-wise CAT 2019 Preparation Strategy

Quantitative Ability: “For QA, I went for extensive practice from mock papers and previous years papers,” says Rohan. Lay the foundation by joining an Online CAT Quant Course and brush up the concepts. If you don’t know the basics, you cannot solve for complex questions. Learn time-saving techniques like tables, squares, cubes and percentage equivalent of fractions. Maintain a formula book. Note down all the important and direct formulas and go through them regularly. Practice solving questions within 2 minutes. This is the average time you get to spend on each question in Quant.

When you attempt QA in mocks, break the entire section into three parts as per the difficulty level of the question- easy, moderate, and difficult. You need to solve more questions in less time. It is better to solve 3 easy questions than 1 difficult question. Lastly, practice a lot. Only practice can help you master this section.

Logical Reasoning & Data Interpretation: “LR and DI again require extensive practice which I did by solving as many caselets as I could. Knowing tables, squares, cubes, and calculation tips and tricks are quite handy while solving DI. In Data Interpretation questions, a lot of calculation is involved. So approximations and Vedic mathematics helped a lot” said Rohan.

“For the Logical Reasoning section, I concentrated more on the analytical reasoning part as it was my strength after Quantitative Ability,” says Rohan. Get familiar with all kinds of graphs and charts in DI and puzzles in LR. Practice quick calculation. Learn the percentage equivalent of fractions. They are a big time saver. Learn to compare fractions in DI. This will help you in massive calculations. Attempt 20 questions or 4 sets each of DI and LR daily. Each sets usually takes 10-15 minutes to solve. Try to solve them within 8-12 minutes.

Verbal Ability: For Verbal Ability some basic knowledge of grammar and sentence construction is useful. “For RC, I solved two CAT level RC passages daily and for Verbal Ability, I used to learn 15 to 20 new words from the vocabulary builder every day,” says Rohan.

As far as the Reading Comprehension section is concerned, it is important to read articles from diverse topics like politics, sports, philosophy, etc. You need to read to get better at this section. Read fiction and non-fiction novels, newspapers, business magazines, etc. Learn the basics of grammar like articles, adjectives, tenses, modifiers, etc. and practice them as well. Get in a habit of reading questions first instead of passages. Just give a quick glance to these questions and get an idea of the difficulty level. Then sweep through the passage quickly and assess how easily you understand it. Make a combination of both. Attempt the ones with easier questions first.

CAT 2019 Preparation Strategy: Key Tips

  • Practice with a timer and do not use a calculator, especially while practicing Data Interpretation. 
  • Practice each topic properly. This will help in assessing your strengths and weakness.
  • Make a list of your strong and weak areas. In the initial stage, put emphasis on strengthening your weak areas.
  • Start taking mocks as early as possible. Don’t be disheartened if you scoreless. Mocks are for you to recognize the areas you need to put more efforts in.
  • Analyze each mock you take. The more mocks you take the better strategy you will be able to form. It is recommended to take a minimum of 1 and maximum of 3 mocks in a week.
  • Once you finish the entire syllabus, focus primarily on mocks and sectional tests.
  • In the final 2 months, do not prepare for any new topics. Work on strengthening the ones you are good at.
  • Attempt previous years’ CAT question papers.
  • Take adequate breaks, and get good sleep while preparing for CAT.

CAT is not a difficult exam, it is just competitive. If you have your basic concepts clear and practice mocks regularly, you can easily score a 95+ percentile in CAT. Believe in your abilities and do not consider CAT as an extremely difficult examination. Be super disciplined, and prepare well, work on developing the ability to grasp and apply concepts in different scenarios. Know your limitations and work on as how to overcome them. Remember that it is a difficult path that leads you to a beautiful future.